The Pessimal Design

2019 represented my first NaNoWriMo win, which you can read about in my blog. It began life as an attempt to use my three decades of experience in the software industry to thumb my nose at Hollywood in general by writing a techno-thriller that was 100% technically accurate and completely feasible. Sadly, I learned that my day job is a lot more boring than even I realized, so I ended up mashing techno-thriller with a business process manual, a few horror stories from my past, and doing it as a comedy instead. It is now technically a "completely unrelated sequel" (orthoquel?) to my unfinished 2018 NaNo novel and the first in what I hope is a series of books that mash up otherwise unrelated genres and try to make them funny.

Sadly, when I went back to edit my "zeroeth" draft in April of 2020, the world had changed quite a bit. Sure, I wrote a satrical comedy, but prophetically, most of the stuff I satirized and bashed in the book no longer exists in the post-COVID world. Entire rants about office romance, small plate restaurants, rental scooters, and many other things had suddenly disappeared from life. My finished work is at best a 65,000-word distasteful joke (at one point I actually had the villain attempt to hinder our heroes by paying a person with intestinal flu to sneak into the building and infect an entire depatment by coughing on keyboards in the middle of an open floorplan room), or at worst it's now a "quaint period piece."

So here's the deal: I am posting the first three chapters of the "latest (not final) draft" free of charge. If you enjoy it, drop me a line, and I'll add you to a list to receive a copy of the finished work and possibly some other goodies along the way. If you're a publisher, potential alpha reader/editor, or wealthy patron and would like to see the outline or full manuscript, I can probably make that happen too.


As a lowly contract programmer at one of the country's leading business software companies, Bob Chase, is at the bottom of the barrel. Heck, he doesn't even really know what the company's flagship product actually does. But, when he unwittingly gets assigned to look at some old code, sinister agents awaken after years of sleep to stop him from learning what skeletons live in the corporate closet.

Now, he's finding secret messages in dashboards, co-workers are disappearing, corporate spies are trashing his apartment, janitors are warning him of lurking dangers, bizarre satanic rituals are being held in the cafeteria, and the gorgeous communications consultant on the 12th floor is suddenly acknowleding he's alive ... or so he thinks ... his friends aren't convinced he's not subconsciously making all of these things up to cope with his boring existence.

Click here to download your complimentary copy of the first three chapters

As an added bonus, I invite you to enjoy the playlist that set the mood, helped me keep focus, and constantly ran in the background during the course of writing this novel.

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My somewhat impersonal blog featuring the latest in brain regurgitations. Basically it's a collection of semi-witty ruminations on comic books, music, gadgets, artificial intelligence, the technological singularity, cyberculture, and serial on-line dating.

I'm quite fond of my day job, but if you're in a position to offer me a radio DJ spot with a mid-six-figure salary someplace with palm trees and beaches, or you've got a sexy side project requiring my extensive knowledge of dead programming languages, I'm free for coffee.